To the Editor,
Well it’s the beginning of July, usually the start of summer (a relative term) holidays and fruit and vegetables starting to do something in our gardens. It is also the dreaded property tax time.
I have no problem with paying taxes. We all want the services that are provided. I also expect value for the services I am paying for. For instance, the Economic Development function of the District of Lillooet. I just went to the District of Lillooet website and clicked the Business Tab. The opening headline is “Business is Booming in Lillooet “ Huh? I think that’s a topic for another day.
Then I clicked on the Economic Development tab. It is basically a page espousing the awards it has won for their new brand, “Guaranteed Rugged.” Really, is that economic development? I am sure there is a good debate about being “Rugged” and trying to attract recreational users to the area who typically leave their wallets at home. Perhaps the district went over budget and couldn’t afford the second part of the signs - the “Times Ahead” part. The page is glaring with no links to commercial, industrial or agricultural zoning, or potential DoL commercial lands for sale. Nor is there a mayoral address to entice new economic opportunities in Lillooet and to come and meet the mayor and economic development officer.
Knowing what I paid in property taxes to the district, I made a rough calculation that the EDO eats up the taxes of over 70 average homes in Lillooet. I don’t see that as getting value in return for what has been done to date.
Not to lay it all on the EDO; in a rebuttal to Mr. Vanderwolf’s water system proposal, the district suggested that “the best available site for a filtration plant” for Town Creek is the district-owned old Forestry site on Main St. Should that have even been an option with the lack of that type of property in Lillooet?
The best economic development that the district can supply is modern infrastructure at a reasonable cost; water, sewer, roads, sidewalks and to quit allowing the Ministry of Forests to burn down our watersheds. It is doubtful that the additional cost of an EDO is helping to provide these services.